Young people facing 'impossible task' as first home deposits hit 10-year high

PUBLISHED: 19:30 12 September 2019

First time buyers are struggling to get on the housing ladder Picture: ARCHANT

First time buyers are struggling to get on the housing ladder Picture: ARCHANT

First time buyers are facing an 'impossible task' to get on the housing ladder as new figures reveal the cost of deposits has hit a 10-year high.

In the past decade, the cost of the average deposit for a first time buyer has increased by 52% - with the average person in the east of England putting down a huge £36,698 for their first home, the fourth highest in the country.

The figures, released by Halifax, suggest house prices have also soared since a low in 2009, following the financial crash the previous year.

A first home is now costing people in the east £214,395 on average - meaning buyers are now having to save up 17% of the total price of a house to take the leap.

House prices are nearly double the cost of a first property in the north of England, but are half the price of the most expensive homes in London.

The increase means younger people are having to wait longer to buy their first homes, with the average age of first time buyers rising to 31.

Carol Eagles, manager at Citizens Advice Mid Suffolk, said: "Saving for the future can feel like an impossible task.

"We advise people to create a budget by adding up essential living costs, such as food and energy, and taking these away from their income. Often, you can save money by finding cheaper deals on your energy, phone and broadband."

Despite the average cost of a deposit rising by more than a half, figures show the number of young people climbing onto the housing ladder is the highest for 10 years. In 2019, an estimated 6,063 first time buyers in the east will invest in a property.

Suffolk expert Michael Webb, of Mortgage Republic, believes there are ways for young adults to break their way into the housing market without needing to save up tens of thousands of pounds.

"Housing prices are running away faster than income at the moment," he said.

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"But I do think that potential first time buyers see a £36,000, which is an enormous amount of money, and give up hope before knowing the options.

"There are a range of ways to buy a first home such as borrowing 100% of a property's value, help to buy ISAs which are about to end, and 5% mortgages instead of the 15% deposits that some will pay."

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